Guidelines for Posting
updated July 16, 2002
While our forum is open to everyone, please keep in mind that this is a free service. Several people
are willing to help answer your question, but we give priority to questions that are posted politely and
that include the correct information. Please follow the following guidelines when posting
a question or answer in the forum.
This forum serves two main purposes:
names. While the emphasis is on beginner-level discussion, advanced topics are welcome - just don't
expect us to know all of the answers.
scripts or want someone to do your thinking for you, this isn't the right place.
Post Clearly and Considerately
are confusing. Use a subject like 'Problem with Listing 3.2' or 'Formatting decimal numbers'. This helps others know
whether they can answer your question without reading it, and also makes the thread easier to find if someone
else has a similar question.
- Keep your questions calm and considerate. Don't act like you're entitled to an answer.
- Include as much information as possible about your problem, and don't get upset if someone replies asking for more information.
It's often the only way we can help you.
- Keep in mind that the same question is often repeated on our forum, and the regulars may have seen your
question before. Don't be upset if they point this out or refer you to another thread for information.
- Use the right forum. We have several forums with different topics. If your post doesn't fit the forum's
topic, it may be moved or deleted.
Including Code in Your Message
end it with [/code]. This formats the code in a nice monospaced font. More importantly, it keeps
portions of your code from being misinterpreted by the forum software. Your code may be unreadable
if you don't do this.
- Keep your code as short as possible. Don't include your entire page. Whenever possible, reduce your code to a small
example that works and demonstrates the problem you're having. However, be sure to include a complete example
- if you only include a line or two, we may not have enough information to help you.
- Include ALT attributes with images. If your code uses images for anything other than looks,
include an ALT attribute with each image. This allows us to try your example even though we don't have the
images it refers to.
- Tell us about your code. Don't just post the code and ask why it doesn't work. Tell us what it
was meant to do, what it is doing wrong, which browser you've tried it with, and what if any error messages
- Double-check your code. Test your code example and make sure it does what you're saying it does.
Otherwise there's no point in us trying to fix it.
- Don't ask us to debug someone else's code. If you got your script from a "free scripts" site, ask
the people who wrote it for help. It's very difficult for us to analyze someone else's messy code
If your question involves one of the books this site supports, be sure to include the title and edition of the
book and the chapter or listing number, if any, that your trouble relates to. There are many different editions of the
various books and this helps us narrow down what you're talking about. Whenever possible, mention this information
in the subject of your post - this allows me to give book questions priority, and allows others to quickly find the answer
if they have a similar question.
Preview and Check Your Message
You can use the Preview button to look at your message before finally posting it. Double-check what you've
written, especially the code sections, and make sure they'll make sense to us. If you post and then notice a mistake,
you can edit your message with the Edit button or reply to the thread with a correction.
Don't expect an instant reply to your message. This isn't a real-time chat service, and most of us
visit whenever we have a spare moment. If you still don't have an answer in a day or two, it usually means
one of two things: nobody knows the answer or your message didn't make sense. Read the posting
guidelines again and clarify your question if you can. Don't complain - you don't pay for this forum and you're not
entitled to anything.
If you've solved the problem that you posted about - whether with our help or without -
let us know with a reply to your original question. This lets us know whether our replies
did you any good. It also helps those who read the thread later. If your problem wasn't solved,
follow up and let us know too.
Replying to Questions
We appreciate those who answer questions here. Please follow these guidelines when replying:
- Don't criticize. You can say 'the answer is simple' but don't say 'the question is stupid'. There
are no stupid questions.
- Don't post a new question. If you have a question that isn't related to the current thread's question, please
start a new topic instead of replying.
- Don't over-quote. You can use the Quote button to reply to a message and quote its contents. However,
please trim the quotation to a few lines. Don't re-post the entire original question or the code.
- Do refer to other threads. If the question is answered in another thread, a link to that thread is
a sufficient answer. If you paste the URL of a thread into your message, it will automatically be hyperlinked
when you post.
- Do refer to other sites. If you know of another site that answers the question, post a link. It's often
much easier than answering the question from scratch.
Enjoy the Forum
Thanks for reading this. Don't let all of these guidelines scare you - we're generally pretty forgiving. But
following them will make everyone's life easier.
(c) 1997-2002 Starling Technologies and
Michael Moncur. Portions (c) Sams Publishing.